It’s time once more for Undervalued and Overlooked Comics! This time around our focus is on some Marvel and DC Bronze Age comics – first appearances, historical events. This one’s got a little bit of everything! Take a look and see what comics you just might be missing out on.
The First Moon Landing in Comics
Did you know that the crew of Apollo 11 would have never successfully completed their mission to the moon if it weren’t for the Fantastic Four? It’s true! Just read Fantastic Four #98. But seriously, in this 1970 issue late in Lee and Kirby’s run, the FF battle a Kree Sentry to ensure that the Apollo 11 mission doesn’t end in failure.
With 316 graded copies in the CGC census, this is an oft-forgotten issue by the Fantastic Four’s creators. While prices had dropped from 2021 peaks, they’re beginning to rise again. A 9.4 graded copy sold in the February 27 Heritage auction for $264, surpassing the January 15 sale in an eBay auction for $195 by 35%. I wouldn’t wait for prices to continue to rise; Fantastic Four #98 is a nice comic with an important historical moment included.
First All-Star Squadron
When Roy Thomas left Marvel for DC in 1981, he took with him an encyclopedic knowledge of Golden Age superheroes. So, it’s no surprise that one of the first things he did when he arrived was to create a DC version of the Invaders – the All-Star Squadron.
Featuring a boatload of DC Golden Age greats – and some new characters – the All-Star Squadron made their debut as an insert in Justice League of America #193.
There are 140 graded copies of this comic in the CGC census. Prices are incredibly low for a first appearance issue with art in the JLA story by George Perez. Which, by the way, if you’re looking for an unheralded run by Perez, check out all his work on Justice League of America. But I digress.
You can pick up a 9.8-graded copy of Justice League of America #193 for around $100. That’s less than you’d pay for a 9.8 of All-Star Squadron #1.
Spider-Man! Hulk! First Byrne X-Men!
Once upon a time, Marvel Team-Up #53 was a hot comic. Besides featuring Marvel’s two biggest heroes in 1977 – Spider-Man and the Hulk – the issue also was the first appearance of the X-Men as drawn by John Byrne. Needless to say, this was a pricy back issue in the early 1980s. Like many comics, it experienced a big spike in 2021, reaching as high as $276 for a 9.6 graded copy. Since then, it’s fallen down to Earth, with some recent auction sales falling below $120 for a 9.6.
With 577 graded copies – a slightly low number for a key issue – the only explanation for the low price is that enough collectors don’t really understand its importance. The X-Men are what they are because of Claremont and Byrne’s run on the series. Take that away, and I doubt the team is anywhere near as big as they are now. Shouldn’t Byrne’s first work on the characters be more valued by the collecting public?
Well, that’s all we have time for this week. Join us next week as we take a look at some undervalued and overlooked Silver Age comics.
Are there any Bronze Age comics you think are undervalued and deserve more attention? Let us know below!
*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.